Frequently Asked Questions
There are a variety of reasons including fruits or vegetables that were:
- had “bad” spots, already beginning to decay
- blossom ends (pickling cukes – especially important!) weren’t removed
- leaving out at room temperature, especially when over 72F, so mold develops
- stored too long in warehouse or in root cellars
- immature – picked too early so not enough sugar/starch development
- infested with fruit flies
Here are some technical fermentation reasons why spoilage occurs:
- not enough salt
- food is sticking above the brine
- initial fermentation occurred when temperatures were too warm – above 72F
- initial fermentation occurred when temperatures were too cool – below 68F
- not stored in a cool place – root cellar, basement or refrigerator
- not skimming “scum” or “pancake” waxy-style yeast growth from top of brine
- fermenting container wasn’t sterile
- using ground spices instead of using whole spices
- old spices which had fungus spores
- using iodized salt
- using chlorinated or fluorinated water
Failures are good for experience. When dealing with living-food, just like with all other living-creatures, you can expect a wide variety of experiences and variables! Unlike their dead-nutrient, pasteurized counterparts which have nothing to offer as far as living nutrients, enzymes, probiotic benefits, fermented foods are worth the journey of learning! Don’t be discouraged!
Did you know...
Gundruk is an important source of minerals during the off-season (Karki, 1986). Mustard, radish and cauliflower leaves, wilt for one or two days, and then shredded with a knife or sickle, tightly packed in an earthenware pot and warm water, and the pot kept in a warm place. Unlike sauerkraut, no salt is added to the water. After five to seven days, a mild acidic taste (lactic-acid from the lactic-acid bacteria) indicates the end of fermentation. The gundruk is removed and sun-dried. It is served as a side dish with the main meal and is also used as an appetiser.
I regret to inform you that I am completely out of Pickl-It pickled cucumbers.
A liter and a half would normally last two days, but I rationed them, making them last longer. And now they are gone...
Your book MUST feature the absolute miracle that Pickl-It pickles are. I
attribute them to exceptional positive changes not gotten from
any other fermentation system.
Must go. Checking myself in to a sanitorium for pickle-withdrawal.
—Patrick J, Indiana